Friday, January 14, 2011

Social Media Reflections After The Palin Video

This is not a political post or commentary about the content of the Palin video. I just wanted to point out a few social media observations that need to be pointed out for deeper review.

Bypass of Traditional News and Broadcast Media

From start to finish the Palin video was a social media production.
  • The video was recorded in high definition but prepared for web distribution.
  • The video was uploaded on Vimeo with the ability to download a copy. Many news and media outlets took immediate advantage of that option.
  • The video was placed her Facebook page.
That is it. No press conference. No advertising purchased. Nothing but word of mouth.

Viral Distribution

To say it went viral is a profound understatement. I was alerted to the video via e-mail. And then other, and another. I believed I viewed it around 5 a.m., at that time there had been 8,600+ views. At this moment the views are 848,000+ within the Vimeo community and many millions more via the transmission by news and media companies.

This is the opposite process from how it usually happens i.e. traditional > social. Not the first time and it will certainly not be the last. For better or worse, the message was in total control of the content provider.

This is gonna give PR people fits, especially with their more colorful clients.

Content Control and Responsibility

There can be no accusation of her original message being distorted or edited.

Creator control is a wonderful thing with a profound responsibility standing off to the side. The responsibility aspect really resonates with me because with video there is no denying the words that come out of your mouth. You might have to live with those words and actions for a very long time.

You can upload a video. You can take it down. But you can't necessarily take it back; someone may have a copy. Be very sure of the message and the intended meaning you want to convey.

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